I was asked to become a mentor after having been a mentee. I was exceedingly cagey, very unsure. While I had gained from being a mentee and so wanted to give back, I didn't consider myself to be 'mentor material'.
My career has not progressed as I would have liked and I consider myself to be clinging to an academic career. I was assured that this would make me a better, more compassionate mentor and so agreed to give it a go.
I chortled and thought, 'been there', when I read the first email from my mentee describing the problems she was facing. She also wanted advice about grant applications and I knew that I had heaps of relevant experience and knowledge in that area. I was relieved. She seemed pleased to have me as a mentor and even impressed by my career and numerous publications.
I thought being a mentor would be about giving back and not gaining oneself, but in fact I have benefitted. My eyes were opened to my career achievements. That has improved my self esteem and I am more content within myself.
Everyone should sign up to becoming a mentor, it is very worthwhile, not too onerous and receiving positive feedback is exceedingly rewarding.